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About CAPS Outreach Center

The College Access and Persistence Services (CAPS) Outreach Center at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, provides outreach services designed to support, increase, and strengthen college-bound low-income and first-generation individuals. Within this population, CAPS places special emphasis on underrepresented minorities who symbolize the least advantaged segments of the population.

A land-grant university since 1869, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, prides itself on adding value to the state by educating its students, doing research and creative work that improves the quality of life, and reaching out to share expertise with Tennesseans. In keeping with UT's mission, the CAPS Outreach Center will serve as a resource that will contribute to building and broadening college access for those whose backgrounds have kept generations locked into underemployment, both through access and through attitude. The center will assist in preparing the next generation of skilled and ethical professionals and will contribute to an enhanced quality of life for those individuals, resulting in an improved, more highly trained workforce within the community and across the nation.

Additionally, the CAPS Outreach Center addresses the mission of the CEHHS by providing quality educational experiences that will "promote a healthy, educated, and civil society" through service and outreach activities. Participants receiving these quality educational experiences will include K–12 students, as well as undergraduate and graduate students, adults who are seeking to improve their life circumstances, veterans, and those who represent the least advantaged segments of the population.

Through the activities and projects of the center, CAPS also will establish internships and professional development opportunities in grant management, career and academic counseling, and research for university students and practitioners.

The research component of the center provides opportunities for faculty from the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences (CEHHS) and other colleges at UT Knoxville to develop research related to teaching and learning strategies, best educational practices, longitudinal investigations of long-term student success, and more. The results of CAPS outreach services to individuals will provide greater economic security and improved quality of life for families and communities. The center will also function as an important venue for developing educational resources for partnerships with school systems, community colleges, state and federal entities, private sector groups, foundations, and community agencies and organizations.

Specific outreach services will be provided by externally funded projects that add state and federal monies to UT Knoxville. CAPS will solicit funding for research both internally and externally.

How will the center benefit affiliated faculty and staff?

CAPS provides a gateway for collaboration among faculty and staff that promotes commitment to meaningful learning experiences for undergraduate and graduate students through limited, part-time employment. Additionally, access to participants served by the projects under the CAPS umbrella provides faculty opportunities for interaction with outstanding students through teaching and mentoring relationships.

How will the center benefit the university?

Outreach services enhance opportunities for access to the university. While meeting the needs of low-income, first-generation students, CAPS will continue to expand the diversity of the student body and broaden the network of support for multiple university areas. CAPS services and activities provide opportunities for hands-on training and experience related to educational preparation for undergraduate and graduate students who desire to become outstanding educators.

What departments and colleges will be involved in the center?

Outreach services enhance opportunities for access to the university. While meeting the needs of low-income, first-generation students, CAPS will continue to expand the diversity of the student body and broaden the network of support for multiple university areas. CAPS services and activities provide opportunities for hands-on training and experience related to educational preparation for undergraduate and graduate students who desire to become outstanding educators.


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